The Cavaquinho's shape is very similar to the viola and guitar, with smaller dimensions and only four strings.
In the colonial period, both in Brazil and Portugal, the cavaquinho was also known as machete or braguinha.
Machete or Braguinha, built by Octavianno Joao Nunes, 19th century
The shape and number of strings have not changed over the years. Nowadays, the cavaquinho is used togheter the mandolin, leading accompanists instruments in choro and samba.
Watch the video to learn more about the cavaquinho.